Local legend says that sitting in the Whitby wishing chair will help change your fortunes by granting whatever wish you make when sitting in it. This quirky little seat has welcomed lots of optimistic wishers in the past – will you become one of them?
How to make your wish
Once you’ve found the wishing chair, you’ll need to do your best to take a seat. It’s very small so is no easy task! Children typically have better luck than adults in taking a comfortable perch in this chair.
When you’re seated, you need to concentrate on your wish. Say it clearly in your mind but be careful not to speak it. Your wish won’t come true if you say it out loud – so be sure to keep it a secret for as long as it takes!
Where to find Whitby’s wishing chair
The wishing chair is not a usual tourist hotspot, so you’ll have to seek it out specifically if you want to make your wish come true. You’ll find the wishing chair at the junction of Love Lane and Stakesby Road (outside Lidl). It’s on the western outskirts of the town.
History of the chair
The wishing chair is all the remains of a medieval mile cross that marked the approach to Whitby Abbey. Over time, the cross itself has broken away from the base, which forms the chair today as one edge of the socket has also worn away.
These crosses were very common in the medieval period to mark the entrance to a holy place, though few remain today.
A modern cross has been built on the opposite side of the road to commemorate the Festival of Britain. This now serves as the Abbey’s mile boundary marker. Make sure you take a look when you’re visiting the chair.
Want to learn more about Whitby’s folklore? Check out our blog.
Image credit: Hidden Teesside